Abstract

A widespread assumption in the language contact literature is that affixes are never borrowed directly, but only indirectly, that is, as part of complex loanwords. From such complex loanwords, affixes may eventually spread to native stems, creating hybrid formations, in a process of language-internal analogical extension. Direct borrowing is the extraction of an affix based on knowledge of the donor language, without the mediation of complex loanwords within the recipient language. This article suggests that direct borrowing can also be the only or primary process leading to productive loan affixes. Criteria are provided to assess instances of direct and indirect borrowing on the basis of the distribution of borrowed affixes across complex loanwords and hybrid formations. These are applied to corpora of various languages. A scale of directness of affix borrowing is proposed, based on the extent to which speakers of the recipient language rely (i) on their knowledge of the donor language (direct borrowing) and (ii) on complex loanwords within their native language (indirect borrowing).

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Additional Information

ISSN
1535-0665
Print ISSN
0097-8507
Pages
pp. 511-532
Launched on MUSE
2015-09-25
Open Access
N
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